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Panaderia Canadiense

Creating Ginger Caramels

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OK, so here's a question for all of you confectionary gurus: do you think it would be a terrible waste of my ingredients to try making ginger caramels using a panela-ginger 2:1 sugar:water syrup as my sugar base? Would they turn out the way I'm imagining, which is chewy creamy gingery goodness, or would it just be a pan full of awful yukk and a frustration?

If you think it would work, what proportions of syrup to cream should I be looking at? Is there anything else I should be adding? And finally, I normally shave 18 F off of my boiling temperatures to account for my extreme altitude - I should do the same with these, yes?

Thanks in advance.

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A ginger caramel sounds delicious. I'd use your normal caramel recipe, shread the ginger, infuse in cream for a day, strain, then go ahead and boil the caramel.

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OK, but what I've got is an excess of heavy ginger syrup - it's a byproduct of candied ginger, and I can only use so much of the stuff for my own ginger-ale and whatnot. So, rather than infusing the cream, I've pre-infused the sugar component, if that makes sense. I'm gratified that you think they'll be tasty, though - it's always good to have a second opinion.

So here's a fresh question: since I'm not infusing the cream (it's a waste of ginger for me) but rather starting with a pre-infused syrup of approximately the right ratio according to my gran's caramel recipe (which is my gold standard, and calls for 2.5:1 brown sugar:water - I'll be adding just a hint more sugar to bring it up to par), it should be as simple as bringing the pre made syrup up to temperature, then adding the warm butter/cream mixture?

I'll be giving this a bash probably at the next weekend - I'll definitely post back with results!

EDIT: should I be salting these, or just try salting half?


Edited by Panaderia Canadiense (log)

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What you're wanting to do should work fine. I'd add a little glucose, cook it to temp (which is going to get the water down to where it should be) and proceed as usual. It may take longer to get it to temp due to the additional water but I don't see any potential actual problems. Sounds tasty.

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Sounds like an excellent use of that ginger syrup. Let us know how it works out.

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I am on the fence here. I think it sounds tasty, but, I wonder if the ginger flavor would disappear or worse, burn as the sugar caramelizes. I'd boil a tiny amount to caramel stage to test it. Good luck!

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Ginger is incredibly persistent - it carries through when I caramelize the same syrup for certain IMBC types, so I'm not that worried about loss or masking of flavour.

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Are you thinking a traditional caramel or a Maillard caramel? The temp shave should be the same. 2 F for each 1000 ft.

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I make a ginger caramel replacing the water in my formula with "ginger water" from grating fresh ginger. The flavor persists through the cooking process and is deliciously spicy.

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Are you thinking a traditional caramel or a Maillard caramel? The temp shave should be the same. 2 F for each 1000 ft.

Traditional 2-step caramel. Syrup to hard ball, then add warm cream/butter, stir like mad, cook to 235 F, then vanilla, stir, and pan. I'm at 10,000 feet of altitude, give or take about 5 feet; I've been using an 18 F adjustment with good results - the 20 F recommended for this altitude doesn't give me proper hard ball consistency - it doesn't carry far enough, especially with the brown sugars.

ETA - Do you think a Maillard caramel would work this way? I make my own cajeta, manjar, and dulce de leche, but I've never tried to thicken it far enough to make "proper" chewy caramels…..


Edited by Panaderia Canadiense (log)
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I think the Maillard is the only way. The brown sugar won't caramelize, it will burn. Do what you are doing, and I wouldn't worry too much about how much extra sugar you are using. Do you use any glucose? Use at least half as much by weight as the sugar. The more glucose, the more cold flow you will get, but the less chance of sugaring.

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I use about 25% of the weight of the sugar syrup in glucose at this point; I'll try upping it a bit but not too much because I want stiffer caramels that I can wrap. It's summer here right now, and too much cold flow is a very bad thing….

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